A new Student Information System: Best of breed vs. integrated SAP solution?

Selecting new Student Information Systems and implementation projects will be the main topics for this blog which I will be writing about. Implementing a new system in a college or university has a wide range of challenges due to the organizational structures, autonomy of departments, a wide range of devices used by students and staff, etc.

The outcomes of the Bologna Process is one reason many schools, colleges and universities are considering a new Student Information System.
The Bologna Declaration has put in motion a series of reforms to make European Higher Education more compatible and comparable, more competitive and more attractive. This is not the only reason since many of the current systems have very limited functionality or they are end of life.

To meet the Bologna requirements (bachelor/ master structure) along with increasing freedom for students to choose from a wider range of courses and the increased student mobility can be quite a challenge for many institutions. When deciding on a new student record system many factors play a role. One of them is a strategic choice of best of breed vs. an integrated solution such as SAP Student Lifecycle Management.

In many educational institutions there is a distance (if not a very high wall) between the student administration offices and the typical HR and Finance administrative departments. Hundreds of schools are using SAP for their HR and Finance administration. Traditionally the student administration departments use a national product, a home grown system or a combination of small tools.

As a CIO or person responsible for the selection of new software you should make sure to carefully consider the benefits of an integrated solution for HR, FI and SIS. Such a system has less servers, different skills sets and less interfaces which leads to lower TCO in the long run. The user base for these new generation Student Information Systems is growing very rapidly.

In the education market institutions are use to sharing experiences, manuals, codes, etc. Far more than in the business environment. Reference visits are a vital element of the selection process for a new Student Information System.

The it.education template solution from itelligence is based on SAP Student Lifecycle Management. With this solution schools, colleges and universities can handle the key processes for managing the student life cycle – from recruitment through graduation and beyond.

SAP Student LifeCycle Management

Links
Gartner session
http://agendabuilder.gartner.com/SYM21/webpages/SessionDetail.aspx?EventSessionId=819

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